Little tips for a Butlins holiday that will make a big difference

1. Plan your shows before you arrive and before activity booking is open. You can see in advance via the app which shows are on at what time. Write down a list of ones you want to attend and when and as soon as you get the email saying booking is open, book them up! This will save time trying to figure out what you can fit in on what days and avoid potentially missing out on fully booked activities.

2. Book your swimming sessions and shows via the “plan my day” link in the email instead of the app. The app is glitchy and unreliable and often says it can’t load activities even when they’re available for booking on the website link instead.

3. Check availability for paid for activities like football, archery and pottery painting daily in the week before your stay as new spaces are gradually released.

4. If you are a single parent and will be taking a pushchair, ring in advance to request a ground floor apartment. Otherwise you may find yourself placed on a second floor room with no lift.

5. locate your room when you arrive and check that it’s clean and ready before unpacking the car. Unfortunately after lockdown Butlins seem to still be figuring out how many cleaning staff they need and how long the rooms take to clean, resulting in families left standing outside their rooms with all their stuff in the rain as the rooms weren’t ready on time. It’s best to double check it’s ready before offloading everything from the car.

6. If the above happens to you: complain! If you give customer services a call they will want to try and resolve it for you. They will offer you a voucher as a goodwill gesture to go and get yourself some drinks etc whilst you wait for your room to be ready.

7. Grab a luggage trolley from around your accommodation. Getting one in the car park is like finding gold dust, but instead there will be plenty dotted around the accommodation areas instead as they will be abandoned after people have started unpacking.

8. Get children’s ID wrist bands from the swimming pool. The pool reception has a box of bright orange wristbands for children. On these you can write your name and phone number just in case your child gets lost during your stay.

9. If you have small children with little legs that will tire easily, take a scooter or balance bike with you. They will be allowed to use these all around the resort and will be especially helpful if your accommodation is located quite a walk from the pavilion.

10. Don’t be afraid to ask staff for extra loo roll instead of buying yourself a multi-pack or taking some with you. They only put 2 in our room on arrival, but gave us an extra 4 when requested.

11. Download the B-Serve app before you arrive and create an account. This is the app you use to order drinks, snacks or food around the resort and at shows and will save you faff and time if you are familiar with it before you go.

12. Don’t panic if you haven’t managed to book any shows or swimming before you arrive. Lots of people cancel last minute or don’t show up so it you go to the event and ask staff if there’s any space, they will let you in if so just before it starts. People also cancel whilst they’re there and things will become available for booking on the “plan my day” website page during your stay.

13. Make the most of your last day. They ask you to checkout by 10am and leave the site for 11am, but there’s nothing stopping you sticking around for the last day. The check out is express checkout so all you do is pop your form and keys in a box. The fun fair doesn’t open until 3pm on that day, but there are still the arcades, parks, shops etc to enjoy and even some shows. You won’t be able to book the shows, but if you ask to wait for a space if someone doesn’t turn up, they’ll let you in. Some shows are also on the skyline stage so you don’t need to book to watch if you don’t mind standing and watching from the fence around it or even sitting at the bar or Burger King etc and watching from there.

14. Don’t leave it until the last morning to total up your arcade tickets and select your prizes. The queues for both will be really long and that makes it quite stressful when trying to get your child(ren) to choose their prizes quickly. If you plan to leave on time in the morning, cash in your tickets the night before. Or if you plan to stick around for longer on the last day, wait until after 12:00 to cash in your tickets as there will be no queue.

15. Buy your food, snacks and drinks from a supermarket just outside the resort. There will be a supermarket just around the corner which will be cheaper than the supermarket on resort. It also means you don’t need to take up lots space in the car bringing them from home.

I’m a failure as a mum

That’s what my brain keeps telling me at the moment. No matter how many people tell me I’m not, there’s no louder voice than the one in my head. And it’s reminding me numerous times a day that I’ve failed at the one thing I wanted to be: a good mummy.

This is my end goal – motherhood. It’s exactly what I ever wanted and dreamed about. So many years of my life were spent planning what kind of mother I will be and here I am, with 2 amazing boys, feeling like I’ve failed them. One has a broken collarbone and the other one has been so poorly with a viral infection he ended up in the children’s hospital. I failed to protect them. I failed to keep them safe. I failed at the most important part of my job description and it hurts.

Yes I know sometimes these things can’t be helped.

Yes I know that’s it’s not my fault.

Yes I know that I’ve been a good mum.

BUT none of that seems to matter to the little voice in my head right now. That voice is telling me: this might have been helped, if I did X, Y and Z maybe it wouldn’t have happened, it doesn’t matter how much of a good mum I’ve been before, I still wasn’t good enough this time.

I’m spending my days bobbing up and down on waves of emotion. I can be so happy one minute: playing with the boys, all 3 of us laughing. BUT then that little voice steals the moment and just like that I’m cry I again. The voice reminds me I have no right to be happy because they’ve been hurting and I should have protected them. I should have stopped Otis from running. I should have caught him. I should have used more hand gel whilst sorting through the shopping. I should have bathed Eddison every night. I should, I should, I should…….

I’m well aware that this rollercoaster I feel I’m on is a sign of depression. In fact I’m well aware that the feelings of being an inadequate mother, knowing my boys deserve better is a typical sign of post-natal depression. But I don’t have a new baby so instead this feeling is labelled as “mum guilt” and my goodness mum guilt is the most torturous thing in the world. When I say torture I really mean torture, a mental and emotional kind.

So here it comes, the apologies I feel I need to make:

I’m sorry Otis and Eddison that I’ve failed at being a mum. I’m sorry husband that I have no energy for anything. I’m sorry everyone that I’m not myself. I’m sorry I’m making no effort with anyone. I’m sorry I’m not replying to or even reading all my messages. I’m sorry I can’t shrug this off as I usually would.

This is just how I’m feeling right now. It’s not ok, but it is understandable and I think because I can understand why I feel like this, I’m going to be ok.

What does Instagram mean to me?


What does Instagram mean to me?

There’s a question I’ve been made to think about recently. Unfortunately like other “influencers” I have finally faced some criticism about my use of Instagram. I knew it was going to happen at some point and after building my page for almost 3 years I felt emotionally prepared for it. What I wasn’t prepared for though was that the criticism came from those who should be some of our biggest supports. Apparently not, and that’s actually so sad. So after being told by people you love that they don’t agree with you blogging, you find time to think about why you blog and why your Instagram page is so important to you. So here goes…

Top 5 reasons why I run our Instagram page:

  1. To make, keep, support and love my insta mum friends.
  2. To support small businesses and shop small.
  3. To share my own personal and honest opinions and experiences as well as read those of other people and broaden my perspective.
  4. To review items and share honest reviews with other mums.
  5. To provide my boys with experiences and things that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to provide for them as a stay at home mum.

First things first: my top reasons above for running my page now are different to the one reason I set the page up in the first place: because of my love for traditional and vintage baby clothes that I couldn’t get on the high street. This is of course still one of my reasons for using Instagram, but as my page has developed (and my stash of traditional baby clothes has grown), my top reasons feel more important now.

So let’s talk about reason 1: friends.

Mum friends are priceless. Nobody gets you or understands you quite like a friend who is experiencing these things with you. Once you become a mum your whole existence revolves around you child(ren) and your life becomes a new challenge you’re not sure how to face: cue Mum friends. They feel you, they know it, they sympathise, they advise, they laugh things off with you, they reassure you, they are your biggest cheerleaders. Because we are one big team on this journey called motherhood and if you want to talk about your baby’s poop – your mum friends are there!

Instagram has connected me with so many wonderful mum friends: many of whom I feel I can talk to about anything and we chat without judgment. How lucky am I to “meet” such great friends that I never would have crossed paths with if it wasn’t for Instagram. We support each other, make each other laugh, rant together, tell each other when we are over reacting, pick each other up, are honest about disagreements and we are always there.

That right there is mainly why I use my Instagram page as I do – to connect with these mums.

Reason 2 is also very important to me: to support small businesses. This became an unintentional habit as I shopped for traditional clothing for Otis as a baby. But that habit soon turned into a passion and now if I need something I always ask myself if I can get it from a small business first before automatically going to a big brand. Because the difference my money makes to the family behind that small business is huge.

The criticism I have faced has mainly been a result of reason 3: to openly blog about my own personal opinions and experiences. However blogging is a great outlet for me and it helps me keep a diary of my children’s development and experiences. As well as that, blogging allows me to connect with like-minded mums; and also some mums with different opinions too that I equally love to read about (see reason 1 above). I think that in a world where social media is important, blogging is a vital part of that media. And when you blog, there’s no point writing anything if you’re not going to be open and honest with your thoughts. You can’t please everyone so what’s the point in trying.

I like to discuss things that are good to share perspectives on. I have chosen never to blog about breastfeeding Vs bottle feeding, baby immunisations or not, baby ear piercing, rear/forward-facing car seats, cry it out parenting etc. I choose my content carefully and none of my posts are created to “mum shame”. We are all one big team, despite our differences (again, see reason 1).

Reasons 4 and 5 pretty much go hand in hand. As our page has grown we have unintentionally fallen into the “influencer” title. Unfortunately it’s a title that has been given negative associations, but actually so much good comes from social media influencing. For a start, advertising and marketing is bloody expensive. We are talking outrageous costs to get products seen on billboards, TV, radio etc. So many brands, big and small, spend their marketing budgets on social media influencing instead because it makes sense from a financial point of view: they get advertising, photos, videos, exposure reviews… often for just the cost price of a product, which is a lot less than the retail price. At the same time mums and families are given products that they may not be able to afford to buy, or even items they wouldn’t have usually tried but then end up loving. As well as this as influencers we get to write real and honest reviews, to advise and give tips to other mums about new products on the market that they may find useful. We don’t review things we are unhappy with. We don’t make up positive reviews for the sake of having something for free, businesses want genuine reviews and feedback of their products. Yes of course it’s nice to get a gift once in a while, but there’s so much more to the whole process.

So that’s pretty much it really – that is why I love running our Instagram page as I do and why I will continue to do so. It’s not there to judge people, to mum shame, to think I’m better than anyone, to show off or to just get freebies…… if you know me, truly know who I am, you will respect why I run our page so proudly and why it’s so important to me and support us with it.

Serenity Dream



What are the essential items in your make-up bag?

For me a good base is a priority to boost my confidence and so I was really keen to try out the foundation that I was kindly gifted from @seren_ity.dream. I chose the blur effect lifting foundation in beige as I was intrigued by its promise to “superbly cover imperfections” and also because it’s a much cheaper alternative to the MAC foundations I usually buy. I have really enjoyed trying it out and seeing how my skin reacts to it. Even with the hormone inbalance after just having a baby, my skin hasn’t broken out once with the new product, it’s stayed really healthy. As soon as I tried the foundation for the first time I noticed the pleasant scent to it and also realised that although the coverage it provides is fantastic, it doesn’t feel too heavy on my skin and I feel like my skin can still breathe. Because of this it’s easy to blend too and doesn’t leave any foundation lines. It does exactly what it says in its product description: “it guarantees flawless, youthful and a natural look without the mask effect”. It makes my skin look soft and not shiny at all. I also love that it’s not tested on animals. I’d absolutely recommend this foundation, you should give it a go!

The art of getting my own way!

My week beginning 9th July 2018


What kind of adults buy a pool that looks like a boat, but isn’t actually a boat?! After donning my perfect captain’s outfit and pulling the best poses in my “boat”, I still couldn’t sail away. Disappointing adults!


Saw some bigger girls playing football today. Walked straight up to them to introduce myself and join in. They kept kicking the ball to me. I don’t know why everyone is so obsessed with this World Cup malarkey, it’s not like playing football is hard. All you do is smile at people and they pass you the ball. Easy!


I had my first Continue reading “The art of getting my own way!”

Channelling my inner artist with the use of yoghurt!

My week beginning 25th June 2018


Mummy has got me this new chunky knit blanket and a cushion to match.  Well she said it was a cushion, but Daddy confused me when she came downstairs and he told her that I “love playing with that new yellow ball”.  Mummy was not impressed and ruined my fun!


Mummy took me to the country park today to meet my Instagram friend Arthur for the first time.  He’s so cool and he has amazing hair. He’s my new role model. I hope that when I grow up I will have hair as amazing as his.


Best. Day. Ever!!! I found a stray Continue reading “Channelling my inner artist with the use of yoghurt!”

Deckchairs: what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine!

My week beginning 18th June 2018


It’s Monday. It’s England’s first game of the World Cup. Daddy and I are having a boys’ night in watching the footy. Mummy is going out shopping to run some errands. Good job really, she probably doesn’t understand the offside rule and I’m not going to explain that one to her now!


Mummy and I went to hang out with my friends today at playgroup. She put me in the swing and pushed me, I’m glad she knows her place. After a while she tried to take me out so I showed her my disgust by having a tantrum. She found it funny. Yes woman, at the moment it may be funny and cute, but let’s see how you feel about it in six months time! 👍🏼

Wednesday Continue reading “Deckchairs: what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine!”

Here comes the spaghetti!

My week beginning the 4th June 2018



I had the hiccups this afternoon and I found it hilarious. Mummy tried to give me a magic feed to get rid of them, but from her reaction I’m not sure her nipple appreciated my teethy giggle mid-feed.


My adults and I went to the circus this evening. I flirted with one of the ladies selling popcorn and thanks to my awesome handmade-in-a-rush costume my Mummy made, she even mistook me for the ringmaster! Then Mummy tried to ruin my vibe by putting these huge, bright green ear defenders on me. Uh….. no chance, woman! Continue reading “Here comes the spaghetti!”

A mother’s pride

It’s true that when you enter motherhood, your emotions are multiplied.

All of a sudden you find yourself with more capacity for love, compassion, empathy, trust, patience, understanding, hope, sympathy, remorse, happiness, endearment ……. the list is endless. A lot of these you have expected to grow. Whilst you were pregnant you may have imagined how much extra 6BA35F1A-14BD-4AC2-9AE3-2E25982491C4love your baby would bring to your heart or how patient you would need to be etc.

For me, the growth of pride was an unexpected one. I don’t know if it’s because Continue reading “A mother’s pride”

Yay for magic rainbow flowers!

My week beginning 28th May 2018


I was actually super impressed by my adults today. They took me to soft play, but not your usual soft play…… it was a baby rave! Soft play, disco lights and music…. Continue reading “Yay for magic rainbow flowers!”